Unforgettable Moments 2010

Take a look back at some of the unforgettable travel moments in 2010.

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Kentucky Derby Fireworks

Kentucky Derby Fireworks

The Kentucky Derby Festival is kicked off by Thunder Over Louisville, the largest fireworks show in North America. Other attractions that take place during the 2-week event leading up to the race are the Great Balloon Race, the Pegasus Parade, the Great Steamboat Race and the Derby Marathon. 960 1280

Nick Huhn / iStockphoto  

Churchhill Downs Annual Gathering

Churchhill Downs Annual Gathering

Fans gather at the entrance to the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. 960 1280

Jeff Gentner / Getty Images  

Grandstand Fans

Grandstand Fans

Race fans watch the derby in the grandstand next to the twin spires. 960 1280

Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images  

Early-Morning Prep

Early-Morning Prep

A blacksmith shoes a horse during an early-morning workout to prepare for the derby. 960 1280

A. Messerschmidt / Getty Images  

Morning Workout

Morning Workout

Horses and their jockeys prepare for morning workouts. 960 1280

Jamie Squire / Getty Images  

Mint Julep

Mint Julep

The official drink of the derby, the Mint Julep is presented in the specially made Kentucky Derby collectible glass. The Mint Julep is an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and sweet syrup. 960 1280

Jamie Squire / Getty Images  

Kentucky Oaks Day

Kentucky Oaks Day

A race fan watches the 6th race while sipping on a Mint Julep on Kentucky Oaks Day, grade 1 stakes races for 3-year-old thoroughbred fillies held the friday before the derby. 960 1280

Jamie Squire / Getty Images  

Picking the Winner

Picking the Winner

Fans make their picks during the morning workouts in preparation for the 131st Kentucky Derby. 960 1280

David Turnley / Getty Images  

Where It All Begins

Where It All Begins

A panoramic view of the starting gate. 960 1280

Jamie Squire / Getty Images  

Race to the Finish

Race to the Finish

Jockeys vie for position on their way to the finish line during the 136th running. 960 1280

Andy Lyons / Getty Images  

Around the Bend

Around the Bend

Horses make their way around turn 4 during the 136th running of the derby. 960 1280

Andy Lyons / Getty Images  

Derby Hat Parade

Derby Hat Parade

The Derby Hat Parade, which takes place inside Churchill Downs, shows off the elegant hats worn by women and men during the Kentucky Derby. This fan is decked out in classic headwear prior to the race. 960 1280

A. Messerschmidt / Getty Images  

Jockey Dress Up

Jockey Dress Up

Kentucky Derby fans dressed as jockeys sip on their Mint Juleps and enjoy a cigar before the start of the race. 960 1280

Andy Lyons / Getty Images  

Casual Infield Gathering

Casual Infield Gathering

No fancy hats and Mint Juleps here. A different scene then you would find in the grandstand, fans gather within the infield of Churchill Downs. 960 1280

David Turnley / Getty Images  

And the Winner is ...

And the Winner is ...

A garland of roses, a blanket of 554 roses, is draped across the winning horse. 960 1280

Simon Bruty / Getty Images  

Kentucky Derby Trophy

Kentucky Derby Trophy

The Kentucky Derby Trophy is presented to the owner of the winning horse. 960 1280

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images  

National Christmas Tree
National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

Looking for ideas on where to travel in December? Kick off the month with a tour of the National Christmas Tree. Located on the White House’s South Lawn, a towering 40-foot evergreen spruce has been a seasonal fixture of the nation’s capital since 1923. 960 1280

Getty Images  

San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio River Walk

Keep the Christmas spirit going in San Antonio. Every December, more than a mile of the San Antonio River Walk comes alive with over 100 underwater lights, as well as LED rope lighting crossing from one side of the river to the other. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Hobbit Tour

Hobbit Tour

Hobbit fans, rejoice! With this month's release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien fans have a reason to follow the Hobbit trail to New Zealand. Besides being a great time to visit (December is the start of New Zealand’s summer season), the country has a Hobbit movie set tour on upper North Island. 960 1280

Jeff Hitchcock, flickr  

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

This December, put Colorado on your outdoors adventure map: Colorado's robust winters lure ice-fishing enthusiasts to gear up and head out for the thrill of the catch. Prime spots include Wolford Mountain Reservoir, a 1,550- acre reservoir, about 100 miles west of Denver. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Caribbean Cruise: Early December

Caribbean Cruise: Early December

For an impromptu December getaway, set sail for the Caribbean. The first 2 weeks of December are your best bet for bargain prices on cruises and hotels, before fares rise come Christmas and New Year’s. Combine your warm winter escape with cool events, like the Bahamas International Film Festival. 960 1280

Royal Caribbean International  

San Francisco Ballet's The Nutcracker

San Francisco Ballet's The Nutcracker

The holiday season wouldn’t be quite the same without catching a performance of The Nutcracker. We suggest heading to the City by the Bay to see the sparkling 2-act ballet performed by the San Francisco Ballet, which first introduced Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to American audiences in 1944. 960 1280

Erik Tomasson  

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

For the quintessential NYC Christmas experience, take a whirl on the ice at Rockefeller Center. The world-famous ice-skating rink at the famed commercial complex, in the heart of Manhattan, has been a fixture of Rockefeller Center since 1936. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Take in the winter solstice at Stonehenge. Every year, more than 5,000 people gather at the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, to mark the time when the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. And good news in 2013: Visitors can explore a new visitor center close to the ancient site that's set to open this month. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Santa Claus House in North Pole

Santa Claus House in North Pole

Just where does Santa Claus live? North Pole, AK, of course. Head to this small, wintery city in the heart of Alaska to see Santa Claus House: A storefront, built in the early 1950s, it’s the spot from which the Original Letter From Santa is mailed out, proclaiming the bearer to be “on Santa’s Good List.” 960 1280

Rosie Rosenberger, flickr  

Hit the Slopes

Hit the Slopes

Hit the slopes this month at North America’s most popular ski resort. In addition to being home to more groomed terrain than any other resort in the world, Vail, CO, boasts the country’s largest ski school for all skill levels. For the more seasoned skier, head to Jackson Hole, where over 90% of the trails fall into intermediate to expert categories. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

NOLA Christmas Bonfires

NOLA Christmas Bonfires

Add a little spice to the holiday season with a trip to The Big Easy. Come Christmas Eve, dozens of bonfires light up along the Mississippi River levee to make way for Papa Noel, as locals in bayou country call Santa. Arrive by 7 p.m. to watch the fiery feu de joie (“fires of joy”)! 960 1280

Douglas and Charlene Guilliams of Baton Rouge, LA: A Father and Daughter Photography Team  

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Come December, the City of Brotherly Love transforms itself into a Christmas Village. This annual holiday market in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park features traditional German Christmas market items, displayed by more than 60 vendors in decorated booths and tents. Get your fill of holiday goodies like gingerbread cookies and mulled wine. 960 1280

Christmas Village in Philadelphia  

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Learn dog sledding in … Chicago? Yep, for outdoor winter adventure, head to the Windy City’s Northerly Island, site of the 9th annual Polar Adventure Days. Beginning in early December, the family-friendly event includes a toddler zone with outdoor “ice fishing,” an REI winter activity station and a dog-sledding demo with huskies. 960 1280

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days  

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